Pharma Focus Asia

Epistem licence Hubrecht Organoid Technology to expand pre-clinical toxicology service portfolio

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Epistem Limited, the UK based pre-clinical and clinical research services company announces the expansion of its in vitro model portfolio by the completion of an agreement with Hubrecht Organoid Technology (HUB) to enable the delivery of an increased range of multi species organoid models. Services are focused on the identification of off target or off tissue intestinal toxicities associated with various therapeutics. Specifically, Epistem aims to help customers define whether there are reasons to suspect that there may be human toxicity issues. This will allow better prioritisation of lead compounds, with customers able to make early decisions on whether to abandon, identify alternatives, or develop mitigation strategies for any drugs with human toxicity.

Organoids are adult stem cell patient or animal derived structures. Organoids are genetically stable and maintain epithelial functionality in the laboratory. The expanding stem cells generate all epithelial cell types and self organise to produce structures that are a simplified replicas of the organ from which they were derived. This enables the effects of new drugs to be evaluated in a relatively quick, yet highly controlled (and hence robust) manner.

Dr. Benjamin Reed, Commercial Director, Epistem, commented, “I am delighted to add further services to our existing repertoire of 3D culture models.  We are committed to provide innovative services to accelerate drug development. Organoids will be a key addition to our portfolio of services and will enable our customers identify toxicity issues using a model that is indicative of the outcome when dosing animals and humans.”

Dr. Catherine Booth, CEO, Epistem, added, “Organoids provide valuable insight into toxicity when analyzed using techniques such as gene expression profiling, imaging and FACs analysis. They will help, alongside well designed in vivo studies, enable our customers to make more informed decisions and improve the efficiency of their drug development process. We are also developing complementary services to investigate drug and microbiota effects on barrier function, inflammatory signals and early fibrosis.”

Dr. Bahar Ramezanpour, Head of Business Development, HUB, commented, “We are happy to announce this partnership with one of the leading preclinical research service providers. Epistem’s services will help expand our toxicology services to support pharmaceutical and biotech companies identify early stage toxicity issues with new compounds.”

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